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Checkers Strategy
and Tactical Advise
from the Checker Greats

Strategy & Tactical Advise

Checker Great, Asa Long:
Tactical Advice ~ If you wish to become a master player or even an expert, you need to learn one thing, how to "plan" and not merely live from one move to the next.

Checker Great, Derek Oldbury:
Tactical Advice ~ Strategy and Tactics are terms commonly used in the game of draughts that have very different meanings. Wm. F. Ryan, a former American champion, distinguishes them by noting that strategy in draughts is the objective or over all plan of play, whereas tactics are used to support this objective.

When we are making an over all plan for playing a game then we are strategically planning our approach. This might involve planning what squares we would like to occupy with our pieces, whether we should move our pieces off our back line, whether we should encourage or inhibit the exchange of pieces, etc. In contrast to this we use "tactics" to achieve these aims by preventing our opponent from placing his/her pieces on certain squares through the threat of "shots", sacrificing a piece to gain an early "king" or to tie up some of your opponent's pieces with a lesser number by using blocking tactics.

The adept tactical player uses a large repertoire of tactical devices in the same way as a wrestler uses holds and throws. Just like wrestling, checkers players also have names such as the "Surfboard", "Boston Crab", "Press", "Fork", "Breech", "Steal" and others."

Don't be afraid to move your back row pieces.

There's no point in trying to play with eight pieces if your opponent is using twelve against you!

A damaging consequence can be that in his preoccupation with tactics (traps and shots), a player tends to dim his awareness of strategic concepts and begins to plan less and less, seeking only a move which will meet immediate needs and letting the future take care of itself which is a dangerous policy.

Checkers Great, Lisle Cormier:
Tactical Advice ~ Pick your battles carefully. There simply isn't enough time to fight them all.

Tactical Advise from, Louis Ginsberg:
Advice ~ The game of draughts is primarily a game of strategy. The following ideas are good strategies to adopt in your play. Try to obtain at least an equal share of the center (Squares 14, 15, 18, & 19) but be careful not to overcrowd the center with too many of your own pieces.

Numbered checkerboard

Domination of squares 18 & 19 for Black and 14 & 15 for White during the midgame development gives the player fully 80% scope and should result in a draw or win in nearly every game played. Attack you opponents "Double Corner" when you have the opportunity. (Squares 1 & 5 and 28 & 32)”

Tactical Advice from, Marion Tinsley:
Advice ~ It is preferable to break through the Double Corner side, as a piece that crowns their can usually emerge more easily than one which reaches the Single Corner.

Tactical Advice from, Maurice Chamblee:
Advice ~ Play according to the strength of your position.
Attack only with the strong side and defend only with the weak side!

In 1911, English checker player and author, Frank Dunne, published a book on the game called "Draughts, A Practical Guide to Play Scientific”. In this book, he listed the following checkers tactical advise "12 Golden Rules" for playing:

  1. Never touch a piece until you have made up your mind to move it.

  2. Never move a piece without a motive.

  3. Accustom yourself to play slowly.

  4. Adhere strictly to the laws of the game.

  5. Compel your opponent to adhere to the laws.

  6. Play with better players in preference to those you can defeat.

  7. Take every opportunity to look on when good players are engaged.

  8. Never touch the squares with your finger when calculating.

  9. Eschew the habit of incessantly talking during a game.

  10. Show no impatience with your opponent who may be slow.

  11. Avoid boasting and talking about your skill.

  12. Lose with good temper and win with silence and modesty.
I hasten to add that the rules apply to the experts and beginners alike. In summary, the following may become the ‘modus operandi’ for the novice checker player or even for someone who wants to improve on game skills:
  • Read checkers strategy literature and study the games of checker masters.

  • Study the game with specific goals in mind.

  • Utilize study time wisely.

  • Keep a journal of positions and strategies.

  • Know the rules.

  • Understand standard positions.

  • Develop a solid knowledge of openings and understand the power of a good beginning and central control.

  • Develop strong endgames and balance between offense and defense.

  • Develop a personal blueprint of strategies and checker tactics.

  • Develop sound cross boards skills.

  • Practice with other checker players and masters of the game.

  • Practice some more...

So, how about it ...ready for another game of checkers?

Checkerboard tables for checkers greats

Cool checkerboard tables for checkers greats.

DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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